National Health - Dreams Wide Awake 2 x CDs (special)

OK bargain hunters and the Canterbury curious - this is for you. This is the two National Health albums that the band somehow managed to record during their (too short) lifetime; music that directly challenged the popular and critical tastes of their time (1975-1980). This out of print compilation sounds great - as good as "Complete" ever did and has all the music and even has liner notes and complete recording credits; all you have to do if you want to hear the albums as they originally appeared on the original CDs is program your player to play the songs in the following order: National Health (1st album): Tenemos Roads/Brujo/Borogroves (part 2)/Borogroves (part 1)/Elephants. Of Queues and Cures: The Bryden 2-Step (part 1)/The Collapso/Squarer for Maud/Binoculars/Phlakaton/The Bryden 2-Step (part 2). You can pay $40.00 or more for these albums in their current form on Esoteric if you like - we carry them that way too - but for those of you who have somehow managed to resist the charm of this great band, now you can see what all the fuss and accolades are about.

"Dreams Wide Awake is a two-disc compilation of ALL of the music from National Health's first two classic cd's (just not in the same order as originally on those cd's). Stalwart fans of the group would probably insist that we buy the original cd's, or the "Complete" compilation (which turns out not to be so complete anymore, now that new tapes and such have risen to the surface and made their way to cd). But I think any fan would find it hard to deny that the first two National Health albums ("National Health" and "Of Queues and Cures") contained most of their very best stuff. For a newcomer to this music, "Dreams Wide Awake" (95 minutes total music) is a great place to get an introduction to this band's unique sound, which one could compare to Bruford, Brand X or Hatfield and the North, but is really quite original - complex structures and compositions; numerous key modulations and time changes; continuously developing themes; intricate and innovative sounds and melodies....yes, everyone really should "get something from this band". If you're already a veteran listener of this great band, this cd may indeed be superfluous to you. Or if you're an incurable completist who has $35 to $50 apiece to spend acquiring all of the individual albums, then skip this one. But if you're looking for an affordable (and very available) way to get to know and own some National Health for yourself, "Dreams Wide Awake" is a great value. Highly recommended to Canterbury prog/jazz lovers who are still trying to acquire National Health. I value interesting music that is played and recorded well. This cd's rating was based on: Music quality = 9.2/10; Performance = 9.5/10; Production = 9/10; CD length = 10/10. Overall score weighted on my proprietary scale = 9.4 ("5 stars")"-Squire Jaco

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Average Rating

Great sound and greater music. And cheap.
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